Who woulda thunk it?

Sitting in math class all those years ago in high school, I never would have thought that math would actually be useful to me in the future.  I heeded the advice of my fellow back of the classroom sitting classmates who insisted that in no way would trigonometry ever be useful to me.  I knew I would not be a physicist, doctor, or math whiz- I was going to be the lead singer of a very famous punk band, who would later become a world famous opera singer.  (Why yes, I AM a Leo!)  But as life progressed, and I went from high school student, to college student, to Marine, to housewife, to knitter- it became  apparent that maybe math beyond the simple 1+1=2 might be a little important.  As it turns out, when designing a knit wear pattern, math is very important!  My brain is fryed after spending the past few days trying to work out the math needed to make a sweater range in sizes from 32″ bust to a 52″ bust while still keeping the lace pattern intact.  Im pretty sure my husband smelt smoke last night as he watched me struggle through a lace pattern for the triangle shawl I’ve been working on (which, by the way, will be frogged yet again today.).  I guess I just wish I had studied a lot harder. 

But as I said, the yellow shawl will yet again be frogged today for two simple reasons: 1- OUCH!!!!  Lace weight yarn is killing my fingers.  I think fingering weight is about the smallest my joints can handle, and Im good with that.  So until I can order the necessary fingering weight yarn for this design, this one is going back to the drawing board.  2- My brain is FRIED.  I am actually pretty excited though, as I have already designed and written out the pattern for another fingering weight shawl, which I will wind the yarn for today and start this evening! 

Want to know what else Im excited about?

I finally got my copy of Ysolda‘s newest book, Little Red in the City!  I pre-ordered this back in February when the inital release date was sometime in March.  It was finally delivered Friday and let me tell you- it was well worth the wait!  It’s chock full of useful information and some very lovely sweater patterns.  It also has nifty spaces to fill in your own measurements to help make it easier to get sweater patterns to fit your body perfectly.  Overall, its a great book and I definantly recommend it- especially if you sat in the back of your high school math class and heeded the advice of your fellow classmates that you would never ever use math in the real world.

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Inspired

Last week, I posted this picture on my Facebook wall:

It’s the beginning of my very first shawl pattern coming to life!  Im really excited about this design and cant wait to see how it all comes together.  On paper it seems like it will look pretty great, but my math isn’t always the best and you never can tell how many times a design will be frogged before it turns into something worth offering up to the knitting masses.  For instance, after posting this picture on Facebook and working about 10 rows of lace, I realized that what I had envisioned in my head looked more like a sad yellow yarny massacre, and the whole thing was frogged.  But after a little more math, a lot more sulking, and remembering that sometimes stitch markers can be a real life saver, Im happy to say that Im picking it back up this afternoon and getting back to the needles.  I’ve also sketched out another design which I am also quite excited about, but that one will have to wait until this one is at least in test knitting phase. 

 

A Special Weekend

My Dad came down to visit us this weekend, along with my younger sister Trisha!  I have to say that it is amazing how having some of my family here makes this place seem not so bad.  I was smiling in a way that I have not smiled in weeks and I felt ten times better, as well.  Since there is really nothing much to do around here, and with the heat topping 110 degrees, we spent much of Saturday here at our house relishing the air conditioning.  We decided to go out for lunch, as I had heard alot of local lore about something called a “Special Quesadilla” that apparently is a local dish that you can only find in the Imperial Valley.  We decided to check out a restaurant called Lulu’s here in Brawley after asking our neighbor for some recommendations.  I ordered the Special Quesadilla with a side of Mexican Rice and an iced tea.  Turns out a special quesadilla is made using a special masa for the outer shell, which makes it crispy on the outside, and chewy on the inner part.  This one had monterey jack cheese, and was unfortunantly very underwhelming. 

But the meal could have been nothing more than crusts of bread and water for all I cared, because I was sharing it with family and I desperatly needed that. 

But unfortunantly all good things must come to an end, and Dad and Trish had to leave for home this morning.  We’re all looking forward to another visit around August for my birthday, and that’s definantly something to look forward to for now!

Back to knitting.

Gosh, I wish I had more energy to blog more reguarly, but this place has me completely uninspired to do much of anything.  I am, however, grateful that my desire to knit has returned.  My want to photograph anything is still MIA, as there is really nothing worth taking pictures of around here, in my opinion.  I havent even taken the camera out of its bag since we moved here.  So unfortunantly, the photos I have taken of my knitting projects have been taken with my Droid X. 

The first project finished since the move was the CopyKat shawl (Ravelry link, only), by Rose Beck which is a shawl designed after the one worn by Her Royal Highness Catherine.  I knit the parallelogram version, but the instructions include 2 other optional versions to knit.  I used Madelinetosh Pashmina in Nebula and size 5 36″ circular needle.  The only mod I made was to only knit the ruffle to 1.5″ rather than the 2″ called for in the pattern.  What can I say?  I have 3 kids and my patience was waning.  But I really like the way that it turned out.

So after I bound the shawl off, I needed something quick and simple to knit.  I decided that since there are so many pregnant women in my circle of friends and family right now, that I should probably start on some baby shower gifts.  I have to admit that I didnt really knit too many things for my own babies, but there is something gratifying about knitting a baby sweater for someone elses baby to be.  I opted for the Small Things Sweater (Ravelry link only) by Carina Spencer.  I used Knit Picks Swish Worsted in Doe and size 8 needles to knit the size 3 month sweater.  I love that it has kimono sleeves!  Its just such an adoreable sweater!

 

Moving right along, of course as soon as I bound off the brown baby sweater I HAD to cast on for a pink one!  So this time I opted to knit the Whirligig Shrug  by Stefanie Japel.  I fell in love with this shrug when I first saw in in Interweave, and had it in my queue for a while.  I knit this one using Madelinetosh DK in Cherry and a size 6 circular needle. 

 

Rolling right along, the next project to cast on was a set of Little Tuffy washcloths in some fun summer colors:

 

 

And finally, My Summer Flies shawlette!  I dont know wny, but I am most proud of this shawlette.  Maybe it’s because it’s the first lace project that I haven’t completely destroyed.  Maybe it’s the gorgeous burnt yellow color, or the beauty of the designers pattern.  Whatever it is, I really am proud of this project and I love it!  I used Madelinetosh Pashmina in Candlewick and a size 7 needle.

So for now, I think Im going to take it easy on knitting other peoples designs, as I have a TON of design ideas floating around in my own head.  Some are going towards the book, but others will be offered as individual patterns once I get them written and tested!  Hopefully I will have some fun news to share with you all soon!

Home- Part 3

So… we’ve moved.  Another successful(ish) military PCS under our belt, and now that the dust is finally starting to settle, life is coming back into focus.  I hate it here.  Im not a desert person, and being away from the Pacific ocean (heck, being away from any ocean) is wearing me down.  We were lucky to find our rental house, which is in a great area of town and is somewhat newer of a house.  Everyone keeps telling me that once we settle, it wont be so terrible but I just don’t see it.  But I wont bore you to death with the details.  Suffice it to say that it stinks.  Literally even. 

Last month before the move officially began, I came across an open test knit on Ravelry for the CopyKat shawl, which is based on a shawl worn by Her Royal Highness Katherine.  I was really excited about the shawl because I saw the photo of HRH wearing it and instantly fell in love with it, and well, living in the desert means no more cardigan knitting for a while.  So I volunteered to test the pattern and opted for the parrallelogram checkered version, though in retrospect I wish I had chosen to do the crossed stitch version.  Just one word of advice when having the military move you- don’t let them pack your knitting.  Yeah.  They packed it up, leaving me unable to finish up the test knit.  Awesome right?  But tonight I finally finished it, and its blocking as I type.  I used MadelineTosh Pashmina which has an amazing drape and softness to it, even when blocked aggressively as I did.  It also takes several rinses to get the majority of the excessive dye out.  In fact, during the first soak, my Husband asked if I was dying something in the sink.  On the fifth rinse, I still had a sink full of koolaid blue looking water. Preeeeeety blue. But I got about 2 more rinses before I decided to call it quits and just block the darn thing. Photos to come once our internet is installed next week!